US6614579B2 - Proximity switch and vehicle rearview mirror assembly incorporating the same and having a transparent housing - Google Patents

Proximity switch and vehicle rearview mirror assembly incorporating the same and having a transparent housing Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US6614579B2
US6614579B2 US09900500 US90050001A US6614579B2 US 6614579 B2 US6614579 B2 US 6614579B2 US 09900500 US09900500 US 09900500 US 90050001 A US90050001 A US 90050001A US 6614579 B2 US6614579 B2 US 6614579B2
Authority
US
Grant status
Grant
Patent type
Prior art keywords
housing
transparent
assembly
light
rearview
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Active, expires
Application number
US09900500
Other versions
US20020024713A1 (en )
Inventor
John K. Roberts
Jeremy A. Fogg
Frederick T. Bauer
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Gentex Corp
Original Assignee
Gentex Corp
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Grant date

Links

Images

Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/60Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges including speech amplifiers
    • H04M1/6033Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges including speech amplifiers for providing handsfree use or a loudspeaker mode in telephone sets
    • H04M1/6041Portable telephones adapted for handsfree use
    • H04M1/6075Portable telephones adapted for handsfree use adapted for handsfree use in a vehicle
    • H04M1/6083Portable telephones adapted for handsfree use adapted for handsfree use in a vehicle by interfacing with the vehicle audio system
    • H04M1/6091Portable telephones adapted for handsfree use adapted for handsfree use in a vehicle by interfacing with the vehicle audio system including a wireless interface
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60QARRANGEMENT OF SIGNALLING OR LIGHTING DEVICES, THE MOUNTING OR SUPPORTING THEREOF OR CIRCUITS THEREFOR, FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60Q1/00Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices
    • B60Q1/26Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices the devices being primarily intended to indicate the vehicle, or parts thereof, or to give signals, to other traffic
    • B60Q1/2661Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices the devices being primarily intended to indicate the vehicle, or parts thereof, or to give signals, to other traffic mounted on parts having other functions
    • B60Q1/2665Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices the devices being primarily intended to indicate the vehicle, or parts thereof, or to give signals, to other traffic mounted on parts having other functions on rear-view mirrors
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R1/00Optical viewing arrangements
    • B60R1/12Mirror assemblies combined with other articles, e.g. clocks
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B1/00Details of transmission systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04B3/00 - H04B13/00; Details of transmission systems not characterised by the medium used for transmission
    • H04B1/38Transceivers, i.e. devices in which transmitter and receiver form a structural unit and in which at least one part is used for functions of transmitting and receiving
    • H04B1/3805Transceivers, i.e. devices in which transmitter and receiver form a structural unit and in which at least one part is used for functions of transmitting and receiving with built-in auxiliary receivers
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04RLOUDSPEAKERS, MICROPHONES, GRAMOPHONE PICK-UPS OR LIKE ACOUSTIC ELECTROMECHANICAL TRANSDUCERS; DEAF-AID SETS; PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEMS
    • H04R1/00Details of transducers, loudspeakers or microphones
    • H04R1/08Mouthpieces; Microphones; Attachments therefor
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R1/00Optical viewing arrangements
    • B60R1/12Mirror assemblies combined with other articles, e.g. clocks
    • B60R1/1207Mirror assemblies combined with other articles, e.g. clocks with lamps; with turn indicators
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R1/00Optical viewing arrangements
    • B60R1/12Mirror assemblies combined with other articles, e.g. clocks
    • B60R2001/1223Mirror assemblies combined with other articles, e.g. clocks with sensors or transducers
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B1/00Details of transmission systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04B3/00 - H04B13/00; Details of transmission systems not characterised by the medium used for transmission
    • H04B1/38Transceivers, i.e. devices in which transmitter and receiver form a structural unit and in which at least one part is used for functions of transmitting and receiving
    • H04B1/3822Transceivers, i.e. devices in which transmitter and receiver form a structural unit and in which at least one part is used for functions of transmitting and receiving specially adapted for use in vehicles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/26Devices for signalling identity of wanted subscriber
    • H04M1/27Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously
    • H04M1/271Devices whereby a plurality of signals may be stored simultaneously controlled by voice recognition
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M2250/00Details of telephonic subscriber devices
    • H04M2250/10Details of telephonic subscriber devices including a GPS signal receiver
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04RLOUDSPEAKERS, MICROPHONES, GRAMOPHONE PICK-UPS OR LIKE ACOUSTIC ELECTROMECHANICAL TRANSDUCERS; DEAF-AID SETS; PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEMS
    • H04R2499/00Aspects covered by H04R or H04S not otherwise provided for in their subgroups
    • H04R2499/10General applications
    • H04R2499/13Acoustic transducers and sound field adaptation in vehicles

Abstract

According to one embodiment, a proximity switch comprises a radiation emitter for emitting radiation, at least one photosensor for detecting light levels near the radiation emitter, and an electronic circuit for energizing the radiation emitter and for receiving and processing signals from the photosensor so as to perform a specified function upon detecting an object that causes the radiation emitted from the radiation emitter to be reflected back to the photosensor. According to another embodiment, a rearview assembly for a vehicle comprises a transparent housing.

Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) on U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/242,465 entitled VEHICLE REARVIEW MIRROR ASSEMBLY INCORPORATING A COMMUNICATION SYSTEM, filed on Oct. 23, 2000, by Robert R. Turnbull et al., and on U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/216,297 entitled VEHICLE REARVIEW MIRROR ASSEMBLY INCORPORATING A COMMUNICATION SYSTEM, filed on Jul. 6, 2000, by Robert R. Turnbull et al., the entire disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

This application is also a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09,425,792 entitled INDICATORS AND ILLUMINATORS USING A SEMICONDUCTOR RADIATION EMITTER PACKAGE, filed on Oct. 22, 1999, by John K. Roberts et al., now U.S. Pat. No. 6,441,943, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a rearview mirror assembly for a vehicle, proximity switches, and light modules, and more particularly to light modules for vehicles.

Preexisting illuminators and other devices, specifically those located in a vehicle, typically utilize manual switches that require manual contact for the illuminator or device to be activated. The requirement for manual contact presents several drawbacks. First, manual contact requires that an operator know and/or see the switch location precisely. This may be difficult at best during nighttime conditions or when the buttons are not easily seen by the operator. This can frequently happen in an automobile where switches may be relatively small to accommodate multiple functions and where the switch location is such that the driver must divert his or her eyes from the road ahead. When the device to be activated is an illuminator, it may generally be assumed that the illuminator is only being activated because of the low light conditions that are present. Thus, switches for illuminators are inherently difficult to locate and activate.

Another problem associated with manual switches is the significant increased probability of static discharge into the electronic circuit to which the switch is connected. Another problem with switches requiring manual contact is that they accumulate debris and can transmit germs from one operator to another. The accumulated debris may also come between the electrical contacts and thus affect the reliability of the switch.

Switches that require mechanical movement and contact, which include electromechanical switches, membrane switches, etc., are prone to wear and are often the most unreliable portion of an electronic system. Also, many switch types do not function very well in a high moisture environment or in the presence of frost, as would occur in many vehicles. An additional problem with such switches is that most of the switch types are costly to make and difficult and costly to assemble into conventional circuit assemblies compared to the cost of incorporating other standard electronic components. Further, manual switches require an ordinate focus/concentration distracting operators from safely executing their primary task.

Vehicle rearview mirror assemblies typically include an opaque housing. When optical elements in addition to the mirror are provided in such opaque housings, the housings typically include a plurality of apertures for the passage of light into or out from the housing. Such apertures generally provide sites of potential ingress of moisture thereby often requiring a transparent cover to be secured across the aperture. Such covers add to the cost and complexity of the rearview mirror assembly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention overcomes these problems by enabling an operator to activate an electronic component, such as an illuminator, simply by waving his or her hand or another object in the proximity of the device. The present invention further provides for an inexpensive switching mechanism. The present invention is particularly well suited for use in a rearview mirror assembly incorporating any form of illuminator.

To achieve these and other aspects and advantages, the proximity switch of the present invention comprises a radiation emitter for emitting radiation, at least one photosensor for detecting light levels near the radiation emitter, and an electronic circuit for energizing the radiation emitter and for receiving and processing signals from the photosensor so as to perform a specified function upon detecting an object that causes the radiation emitted from the radiation source emitter to be reflected back to the photosensor. The function that the electronic circuit may perform may be to activate an illuminator assembly or other device. While the most preferred embodiment is to incorporate the invention in a rearview mirror assembly, the present invention may be implemented in other places of a vehicle to activate interior illumination as may be provided through map lamps, dome lamps, door lights, etc. Additionally, the present invention may be employed to activate a puddle lamp or an approach lamp in or adjacent the outside mirror of a vehicle, as well as back-up lamps, etc. The invention could also be incorporated in outdoor security lamps, porch lamps, overhead street lamps, and the like. The present invention could further be incorporated in virtually any form of illuminator or other electronic device.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a vehicle illuminator system is provided that comprises: a lamp module for emitting light and configured for mounting to a vehicle; a radiation emitter for emitting radiation; at least one photosensor for detecting light levels near the radiation emitter; and an electronic circuit for energizing the radiation emitter and for receiving and processing signals from the photosensor so as to cause the lamp module to emit light upon detecting an object that causes the radiation emitted from the radiation emitter to be reflected back to the photosensor.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a rearview assembly for a vehicle is provided that comprises: a mounting structure adapted to be mounted to a vehicle and including a housing; rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to a vehicle occupant; a light module disposed in the housing; a radiation emitter for emitting radiation; at least one photosensor for detecting light levels near the radiation emitter; and an electronic circuit for energizing the radiation emitter and for receiving and processing signals from the photosensor so as to cause the light module to emit light upon detecting an object that causes the radiation emitted from the radiation emitter to be reflected back to the photosensor.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, an interior rearview assembly for a vehicle is provided that comprises: a mounting structure configured to be secured to the vehicle in proximity to an upper portion of a windshield of the vehicle; a transparent housing supported on the mounting structure, the transparent housing being transparent to visible light; and rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to the driver of the vehicle, the rearward viewing means being supported by the transparent housing.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a rearview assembly for a vehicle is provided that comprises: a mounting structure configured to be secured to the vehicle; a transparent housing supported on the mounting structure, the transparent housing being transparent to infrared light; rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to the driver of the vehicle, the rearward viewing means being supported by the transparent housing; and an infrared data interface disposed in the transparent housing for enabling wireless communication with an electronic device within the vehicle.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a rearview assembly for a vehicle is provided that comprises: a mounting structure configured to be secured to the vehicle; an optically transparent housing supported on the mounting structure; rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to the driver of the vehicle, the rearward viewing means being supported by the transparent housing; and an image sensor disposed in the transparent housing, wherein the transparent housing is transparent to the radiation to which the image sensor is sensitive.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a rearview assembly for a vehicle is provided that comprises: a mounting structure configured to be secured to the vehicle; an optically transparent housing supported on the mounting structure; rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to the driver of the vehicle, the rearward viewing means being supported by the transparent housing; and information provided within the transparent housing that is readable by one or both of a machine reading device and a human from outside the transparent housing.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a rearview assembly for a vehicle is provided that comprises: a mounting structure configured to be secured to the vehicle; an optically transparent housing supported on the mounting structure; rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to the driver of the vehicle, the rearward viewing means being supported by the transparent housing; an optical element disposed within the transparent housing and having an optical axis; and a lens integrally formed in the transparent housing, wherein the optical element is disposed with its optical axis passing through the lens.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a rearview assembly for a vehicle is provided that comprises: a mounting structure configured to be secured to the vehicle; an optically transparent housing supported on the mounting structure, the transparent housing including a plurality of integrally molded strengthening ribs; rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to the driver of the vehicle, the rearward viewing means being supported by the transparent housing; and an optical element disposed within the transparent housing and having an optical axis.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a rearview assembly for a vehicle is provided that comprises: a mounting structure configured to be secured to the vehicle; a housing supported on the mounting structure; rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to the driver of the vehicle, the rearward viewing means being supported by the housing; and a laser radar detector provided in the housing, wherein at least one of the housing and the rearward viewing means is at least partially transparent to wavelengths of light to which the laser radar detector is sensitive.

These and other features, advantages, and objects of the present invention will be further understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art by reference to the following specification, claims, and appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a proximity detector constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2A is a plot of the intensity of radiation emitted from the radiation emitter shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 2B is a plot of the sensed foreground and background illumination sensed by the photosensor of the structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a plot of the photo optical feedback value as a function of the distance of an object to the photosensor of the structure shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of a rearview mirror assembly constructed in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a rear elevational view of the rearview mirror assembly shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a bottom elevational view of the rearview mirror assembly shown in FIGS. 4 and 5;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of a transparent housing constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 8A is a side elevational view of an exterior rearview assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 8B is a cross-sectional view of the exterior rearview assembly shown in FIG. 8A taken along line 8B-8B′;

FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of a rearview assembly in partial cross section, constructed in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a close-up cross-sectional view of the portion of the rearview assembly shown in FIG. 9; and

FIG. 11 is a front elevational view of a casing portion of the transparent housing constructed in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made in detail to the present preferred embodiments of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numerals will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.

The present invention and its various aspects are generally described as being implemented in a vehicle rearview assembly, and more particularly in a vehicle rearview mirror assembly. The term “rearview assembly” is utilized to generally describe a structure that is adapted to be mounted in the vehicle in proximity to an upper portion of the vehicle windshield to provide a view to the rear of the driver and generally the rear of the vehicle. Such rearview assemblies incorporate “rearward viewing means” for providing a rearward view to a vehicle occupant (generally the driver). Although such “rearward viewing means” typically includes a mirror, such structures may alternatively or additionally incorporate other “rearward viewing means” such as a display that displays an image taken from a rearward facing camera as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,670,935 and in commonly assigned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/153,654 entitled SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS FOR ENHANCING REAR VISION FROM A VEHICLE filed on Sep. 15, 1998, by Frederick T. Bauer et al., now U.S. Pat. No. 6,550,949, the entire disclosures of the above patent and patent application are hereby incorporated by reference. Thus, as used herein, the term “rearward viewing means” shall include mirrors, displays, and any other structure for displaying or otherwise providing a rearward view to the driver or other occupant(s) of the vehicle.

The rearview assembly of the present invention may include various manual switches, light sensors, illuminator assemblies, indicator lights, and other electronics. The following aspect of the present invention pertains to a new mechanism for activating a functional feature without manually activating a manual switch. This aspect of the invention may be integrated with existing sensors and may also be used to allow user input to be received by the rearview assembly and to activate a function in response to such user input, such as turning on or off the vehicle map lights. Specifically, this aspect pertains to a proximity switch that may be provided in a rearview assembly or in any other vehicle accessory or component.

FIG. 1 shows an example of the proximity switch of the present invention. As illustrated, the device includes a radiation emitter 10 and a photosensor 12, which may be mounted to a common circuit board 14. Radiation emitter 10 and photosensor 12 are positioned such that radiation emitted from radiation emitter 10 is projected into an area of space where the proximity of an object within that area will cause the radiation to be retro-reflected or back-scattered towards photosensor 12. In the absence of such an object, photosensor 12 would not detect light levels of sufficient intensity so as to exceed a threshold level established by a control circuit 16. Control circuit 16 is coupled to at least the photosensor for receiving and processing the output signal from the photosensor. Control circuit 16 may also be utilized to selectively energize radiation emitter 10, as discussed further below.

Control circuit 16 may be coupled to a device, such as an illuminator 18. In this manner, control circuit 16 may send a signal to illuminator 18 or otherwise energize illuminator 18 when an object passes through the predefined space in which photosensor 12 may detect the object.

Radiation emitter 10 may project visible or invisible radiation, such as infrared (IR) or ultraviolet (UV) light. Additionally, radiation emitter 10 may be a separate component from illuminator 18. Alternatively, emitter 10 may be a part of an illuminator 18. Preferably, semiconductor 10 is a part of illuminator 18 that emits visible light. Radiation emitter 10 may be an LED, light emitting polymer (LEP) device, or another semiconductor optical emitter. Illuminator 18 preferably includes at least radiation emitter 10, and may include other light sources and preferably includes LEDs, LEPs, or other semiconductor optical emitters. Radiation emitter 10 and illuminator 18 may together or separately include light sources that emit monochrome red, amber, green, blue-green, blue, or orange light. Alternatively, they may emit white light and include a binary complementary pair or group of LEDs; a red, green, blue (RGB) group of LEDs; an InGaN LED incorporating a phosphor; or other white-light emitting combination of light sources.

Photosensor 12 preferably is a silicon sensor such as a photodiode, a phototransistor, or an active pixel sensor (APS). Photosensor 12 may be dedicated solely for use with the proximity detection function of the present invention or it may serve multiple functions. When implemented in an electrochromic mirror, for example, the photosensor may be an APS sensor with a primary function as a glare sensor for the electrochromic mirror and the secondary function as part of the proximity detection mechanism of the present invention.

Radiation emitter 10 and photosensor 12 are preferably mounted on or in a common housing or other support assembly, along with some electrical connector mechanism for enabling the sensor and light source to be coupled to control circuit 16. Control circuit 16 may be mounted on or in the same housing or support assembly or may optionally be contained in a remote housing. Conceivably, part of the control circuit may be included in the same housing as radiation emitter 10 and photosensor 12 while the remaining portion may be positioned in a remote location. Control circuit 16 may also be mounted on the same printed circuit board 14 as radiation emitter 10 and photosensor 12.

The housing or support assembly in which the components are mounted preferably would include one or more openings or apertures through which the light source may emit radiation and the sensor may receive radiation. Optionally, these apertures may be covered by a lens or cover that is substantially transparent to the operating band of radiation of the respective emitter or sensor. Such a lens or cover may include a filter, diffuser, or other optical moderating element. Alternatively, the housing, openings, and lens cover may be made integral of a single material substantially transparent to the operating band of radiation of the emitter and sensor.

The function of the proximity detection components is to initiate a function (i.e., energize illuminator 18) upon detection of an external event such as the passing of an operator's hand nearby the sensor 12. Control circuit 16 may apply power to illuminator 18 upon detection of the external event and continue to apply the power until a prescribed condition occurs whereupon the illuminator 18 is de-energized. Such prescribed conditions may include lapse of a predetermined time period (i.e., a “timeout”) or the detection of a second instance of proximity. A combination of “secondary proximity termination” and “timeout” may also be employed. Other inputs, such as a signal indicating that the doors have been locked remotely (by RKE interface), may also be used to extinguish the light from illuminator 18 at any time after illuminator 18 has been activated by control circuit 16.

Proximity detection for some applications may be used to change the state of illuminator 18 in other ways than simply on/off. For example, proximity could be used to increase the brightness of the illuminator for a prescribed period of time or change the color of the emitted light. The intensity of illuminator 18 might generally be set at an arbitrary value of L to generate sufficient illumination for mood/contour lighting. Upon detection of proximity, the intensity of illuminator 18 may be increased by the control circuit to 5×L or 10×L and remain at the elevated level until the prescribed termination (timeout, secondary proximity detection, etc.). Photosensor 12 may be used to control the on/off status of illuminator 18 in its lower intensity by activating the light source at the low intensity when a prescribed level of darkness is detected. Alternatively, illuminator 18 could be turned on in its low intensity state at all times.

For illuminators having adjustable color (such as a binary complementary LED illuminator or an RGB LED illuminator, for instance), the activation event (proximity detection) could switch the source from one color to another permanently or until a termination event occurs (timeout, secondary proximity detection, etc.). In the case of a binary complementary system comprising amber and blue-green LEDs whose combined emissions form white illumination, the base or starting color might be amber and the complement (blue-green) might be activated by the activation event, thereby changing the emitted illumination color from amber to white for a prescribed period (i.e., until a termination event occurs such as a timeout, secondary proximity detection, or external disable input). An example of a binary complementary LED illuminator is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,803,579, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. If illuminator 18 included an RGB LED combination, a similar scheme can be employed to switch between red illumination in its base state to white illumination in its activated state. Both of these color state switching schemes would have advantages in that they provide nominal, low illumination in a night-vision-friendly wavelength band in the base state and switch to fuller photopic illumination levels of white light in the activated state. The dimmer, “scotopic-friendly” base state may be one lux or lower of amber, red, or blue light, or just enough light for an observer to generally perceive the presence or contours of objects in the environment immediately surrounding the improved illuminator and the observer. The brighter “photopic” activated state may produce illumination of five lux up to several hundred lux of white or colored light. The brighter activated state is thus suitable beyond presence or contour perception and fully enables recognition, reading, and other tasks requiring more light and/or a larger zone of illumination, as well as tasks requiring better color rendition.

The proximity detector of the present invention preferably operates by principle of photo optical feedback with correlated double sampling. The photo optical feedback principle requires that the object to be detected must have a diffuse reflectance greater than one percent and/or a specular reflectance at the Snell angle (with respect to the emitter and detector) of greater than one percent. This includes almost all real objects.

To detect nearby presence of an object, control circuit 16 first samples the signal from the sensor without activating radiation emitter 10. This creates a “background” illumination value. An example of such a background illumination signal is shown in FIG. 2B. Then, control circuit 16 energizes radiation emitter 10 causing it to emit a short pulse of optical energy, as also illustrated in FIG. 2A. Simultaneously, control circuit 16 integrates the signal received from photosensor 12. This integrated signal from photosensor 12 created during the synchronous on-pulse of emitter 10 creates a “foreground” illumination value. An example of the foreground illumination value is shown in FIG. 2B. The difference between the foreground value and the background value may be derived via analog or digital electronics or computed in a microprocessor. This difference represents the photo optical feedback value. The photo optical feedback value will be zero for situations where all objects in the sensor field of view are at infinity or if all objects in the sensor field of view nearer than infinity have zero reflectance. The photo optical feedback value for real, partially reflecting objects nearer than infinity will be finite and positive and will increase exponentially as the object nears the emitter and sensor as depicted in FIG. 3.

To use this photo optical feedback value as a trigger that enables or disables a device controlled by control circuit 16, which powers radiation emitter 10, a threshold value is established. If the photo optical feedback value exceeds the threshold value, then this can be used to enable, disable, or flip-flop the state of an input to control circuit 16, which, in turn, turns illuminator 18 on, increases the brightness of illuminator 18, changes its color, turns it off, or makes it dimmer. The photo optical feedback value would increase if an activation occurred by moving an object (such an operator's hand) near the sensor and emitter. At some distance greater than zero, the photo optical feedback from the activation target will reach and exceed the predetermined threshold value, thus initiating the trigger event (enable, disable, etc.) prescribed by the system logic.

By relying on the difference between the “foreground” illuminance value and the background illuminance value, as described above, to compute the photo optical feedback level, the present invention substantially minimizes impact of ambient light level on the system's proximity detection capability.

For best results, the system should be configured such that both radiation emitter 10 and photosensor 12 are oriented with their optical axes pointed within the same hemisphere, preferably, parallel to one another. Emitter 10 and photosensor 12 should be proximal to one another, spaced no further apart, preferably, than the minimum distance required for reliable proximity detection. Greater spacing may be operable and still within the scope of the present invention.

When the device is employed to control an illuminator, illumination of five lux or more at a target zone of some predetermined distance is preferably provided by the illuminator.

While the invention has generally been discussed with respect to intentional activation of illuminator 18, it is also possible that this device could be used for security purposes to detect movement of an object within the vehicle. For example, if the alarm is activated (such as by means of locking the doors) and if the proximity detector of the present invention detects presence of an object, control circuit 16 could be programmed to cause illuminator 18 to flash and may otherwise transmit a signal to the alarm system of the vehicle to generate other appropriate alarms.

While the most preferred embodiment is to incorporate the inventive proximity switch in a rearview assembly, the present invention may be implemented in other places of a vehicle to activate interior illumination as may be provided through map lamps, dome lamps, door lights, etc. Additionally, the present invention may be employed to activate a puddle lamp or an approach lamp in or adjacent the outside mirror of a vehicle, as well as back-up lamps, etc. The invention could also be incorporated in outdoor security lamps, porch lamps, overhead street lamps, and the like. The present invention could further be incorporated in virtually any form of illuminator or other electronic device.

The rearview assembly of the present invention may employ a transparent housing. An example of a rearview assembly having a transparent housing 30 is shown in FIGS. 4-6. Transparent housing 30 may include a rear casing 30 a and a bezel 30 b that are sealed together during final assembly. Preferably, both rear casing 30 a and bezel 30 b are transparent. However, either one may be opaque. Additionally, bezel 30 b and rear casing 30 a may have different color tints.

A transparent mirror housing offers many advantages over a conventional black opaque rearview mirror housing. For an electrochromic mirror, conventional black opaque mirror housings often include an aperture in the front of the bezel for allowing light from rearward vehicle headlights to reach a glare sensor mounted in the housing. Another aperture is also provided in the back of the mirror housing to allow light to reach an ambient light sensor that is also mounted in the mirror housing. Each of these apertures may be eliminated by using the transparent mirror housing of the present invention since the glare sensor 31 and ambient light sensor 32 may be mounted behind the outer walls of the transparent mirror housing. By eliminating these apertures, the sensors are better protected from electrostatic discharge and environmental contaminants, such as smoke, and from cleaning fluids used to clean the mirror and windshield. Yet another advantage is that mirror housing 30 may be made of a material that functions as a spectral filter to filter unwanted light in front of sensors 31 and 32. Additionally, the size constraints of the sensors are removed and the sensor size may be increased since there would be no need to provide a corresponding increase in the size of the aperture. The transparent housing may additionally be configured to function as an optical element in front of the sensor. For example, the transparent housing may function as a diffuser to diffuse the light prior to reaching the sensor. Additionally or alternatively, the transparent housing may be configured with an optical lens provided in the housing wall itself with the sensor positioned with its optical axis passing through the lens portion of the housing. The lens may be configured to function as a collimator lens, a wide angle lens, etc. Sensors 31 and 32 may be CdS, CMOS active pixel, photodiode, phototransistor, or CCD sensors or the like.

As shown in FIG. 7, a baffle is preferably provided between the inner wall of the transparent housing and the sensor 31, 32 so as to restrict the viewing angle of the sensor and thereby prevent stray light from various angles from reaching the sensor. Baffle 33 may be an integrally molded extension of housing 30 or it may be a separate molded piece that is subsequently secured to one or both of housing 30 or an internal circuit board on which the sensor is mounted. If the baffle 33 is separately molded, it is preferable that it is molded out of an opaque material, whereas if the baffle is an integral extension of the housing, it may be preferable to paint either or both of the inner or outer surfaces of the baffle portion.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the configurations shown and described above with respect to sensors 31 and 32 may equally be employed for implementing a camera such as a CMOS camera or a PIR detector such as the type used for occupant/intruder detection.

Other advantages of using a transparent mirror housing result when map lights 35 (FIGS. 5 and 6) are incorporated in the mirror housing. Previously, a pair of apertures was required in the opaque mirror housing and transparent lenses were mounted across such apertures. With a transparent mirror housing, lenses 37 may be integrally formed in mirror housing 30. This eliminates parts that must be assembled and provides for a more watertight assembly. Light sources 38 of the map lamps project light through lenses 37. FIG. 8A is a side view of an outside rearview assembly having a transparent housing 30′ and a plurality of lenses 37 formed therein in association with a plurality of light sources 38. FIG. 8B is a cross-sectional view of the outside rearview assembly taken along line 8B-8B′. As illustrated, the optical axes 38 a of light sources 38 are preferably aligned with the optical axes of lenses 37. It should be noted that the lenses may be formed on the inner or outer surfaces of housing 30′. As illustrated in FIG. 8B, a coating of paint 39 may be selectively applied to the inside or outside surface of housing 30′ thereby defining windows in which the lenses are formed and through which light may be emitted or received. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B, light sources 38 are utilized as turn signal indicator lights. It will be appreciated, however, that such light sources may function as illuminators and, in particular, when implemented in an inside rearview assembly, the light sources may function as map lights, center console light illuminators, mood/contour lights, or as other indicator lights.

The light sources 38 are preferably LEDs, such as those disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,803,579; commonly assigned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/426,795, entitled SEMICONDUCTOR RADIATION EMITTER PACKAGE, filed on Oct. 22, 1999, by John K. Roberts et al., now U.S. Pat. No. 6,335,548; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/835,278, entitled RADIATION EMITTER DEVICES AND METHOD OF MAKING THE SAME, filed on Apr. 13, 2001, by John K. Roberts et al., now U.S. Pat. No. 6,521,916; and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/723,675, entitled LIGHT EMITTING ASSEMBLY, filed on Nov. 28, 2000, by John K. Roberts et al., the entire disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.

To the extent that light sources 38 may include multiple emitters that emit light of different colors that are to be subsequently mixed, such as the white light emitting binary complementary light sources disclosed in the above-mentioned U.S. Pat No. 5,803,579, lenses 37 may be configured to aid in the mixing of the light from the emitters. An example of one such suitable mixing lens is disclosed in U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/270,054, entitled RADIATION EMITTER DEVICE HAVING A MICRO-GROOVE LENS, filed on Feb. 19, 2001, by John K. Roberts, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

Yet another aperture is often provided in the rear of an opaque rearview mirror housing to allow electrical connection to diagnostic or other external circuits. By making the mirror housing transparent, an IRDA-type transceiver 42 could be mounted to the printed circuit board mounted in the housing and utilized to transmit and receive data to/from an external device. IRDA transceiver 42 could also be utilized to transmit GPS data to a laptop or other portable computer, a personal digital assistant (PDA), or to transmit and receive data with other electrical components of the vehicle. Thus, electrical cabling other than power and ground would not need to be run to the mirror and any data transmission that would be required could be accomplished by a wireless IR link. The IRDA transceiver could include a discrete LED as shown in FIGS. 4-6 or an IR LED chip provided in a multi-chip LED that may alternatively function as a map lamp. The IRDA transceiver 42 data interface may also be used for transmitting/receiving diagnostic data, firmware upgrades to the firmware located in the rearview assembly or in other vehicle components, map data that may be uplinked to the vehicle navigational system, and trip computer data that may be downlinked to a portable electronic device.

Some conventional rearview mirror assemblies incorporate displays mounted either behind the mirror or in an extension of the mirror housing adjacent the mirror. When the display is located behind the mirror, some of the viewable reflective area of the mirror is sacrificed for the display. When the display is not behind the mirror but is adjacent the mirror, a separate transparent cover must be secured in front of the display, thereby requiring additional parts and assembly and also introducing another potential site where moisture could enter the mirror and damage the mirror and/or electronic circuitry in the housing.

By using the transparent housing of the present invention, a display 44 may be mounted inside housing 30 behind a flat extension 43 adjacent the mirror 40. In this manner, none of the viewing area of mirror 40 is sacrificed and the addition of display 44 does not present additional sites of moisture ingress. It should further be noted that such a display 44 may be provided in addition to any display 45 that may be mounted behind the mirror. Such an additional display 44 would be beneficial in mirror assemblies such as those discussed above since the mirror assembly is the source for much more information that could be supplied to the driver and other vehicle occupants. Furthermore, information that is otherwise displayed in other locations (i.e., clock, speed, radio station, etc.) may now be displayed in the rearview mirror assembly.

By placing the display behind a transparent portion of housing 30, the housing provides a protective window against electrostatic discharge, moisture, cleaners, and dirt. Additionally, the housing may serve as a spectral filter for the display, such as a color shift filter for a vacuum fluorescent display or a contrast enhancement filter. Display 44 may be a backlit or edge lit display or other liquid crystal display, vacuum fluorescent display, FED, plasma or other LED matrix, OEL, or PEL displays.

As disclosed in commonly assigned U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,923,027 and 5,837,994, the rearview mirror assembly may incorporate a moisture sensor and/or a headlight/tail light sensor used to control windshield wipers, window defrosters, and vehicle headlights and tail lights. Such image sensors/cameras typically include a lens mounted in an aperture formed in the rear of the mirror housing. When mounted in the transparent housing of the present invention, the aperture may be eliminated and the lens may be integrated into the mirror housing. This allows the imaging sensor 130 and any supplemental light source 166 to be mounted directly on the motherboard inside the transparent housing (See FIGS. 5 and 6).

As shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, a camera/sensor system 120 may be mounted in the mounting structure 122 of a rearview assembly. The same structure may likewise be mounted in or otherwise attached to housing 30. In general, the system 120 shown in FIG. 9 may be used for sensing moisture on windshield 126 of the vehicle in the manner disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,923,027. As shown in FIG. 10, system 120 includes an image sensor 130 including a lens 133 and an image sensor array 132 for sensing an image of the vehicle windshield. A processor may be provided in housing 30 to perform a moisture detection algorithm based upon the sensed images. A supplemental illuminator 166 and an associated lens 168 may be provided to illuminate the portion of the window being imaged. Both lenses 168 and 133 may be made integral with the transparent walls of housing 30 or transparent walls of a transparent mounting structure 122. As noted above, image array sensor 132 may alternatively or additionally be used for sensing headlamps of oncoming vehicles or tail lamps of preceding vehicles such that the information obtained from these images may be used to control the headlamps of the vehicle in which the present invention is installed. As yet another alternative or additional feature, image array sensor 132 may be a high dynamic range, forward-looking camera that is sensitive to either near or far infrared for use in a collision avoiding system. As yet another alternative or additional feature, the camera may be used for adaptive cruise control systems.

In conventional opaque mirror housings, an aperture is often provided in the front of the housing to allow light from an LED indicator light to escape the housing. If the transparent mirror housing of the present invention is employed, no additional aperture need be provided for such indicator lights 50 (FIGS. 4 and 6). Moreover, because additional apertures would not be required for additional LED indicator lights, the mirror assembly could be employed to provide numerous other indications to the vehicle operator. For example, LEDs 50 (or other light devices) could be contained in the mirror housing and illuminated to indicate that a telephone call is incoming, e-mail or voice mail has been received, there is a call waiting, the vehicle alarm is armed, etc. LEDs may also be provided to provide pulsed indication of microphone feedback. Such indications may be made by backlighting an applique printed on the mirror housing using a lightpipe or the like. Also, the whole mirror housing may be illuminated.

Another feature that may be readily incorporated into a rearview mirror assembly having a transparent mirror housing is a center console light 60. Such a console light may provide a certain amount of soft illumination from the bottom of the rearview mirror assembly downward onto the center floor console where a shift lever may be positioned. This console light may be left permanently on, particularly when LEDs are utilized as the light source, or may be activated along with other lights as part of an illuminated entry lighting system. As illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, console light 60 includes a plurality of LEDs 62 positioned behind a lens 64. Such LEDs 60 may emit light having different colors and may emit binary complementary colors such that when they are all activated, the illumination emitted from the LEDs overlaps and creates white light. Such an illumination system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,803,579 and the above-referenced U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/426,795, the entire disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference.

The console light may include one or more multi-chip LEDs that incorporate LED chips that emit light of different colors. Such colors are preferably binary complementary so as to be capable of forming white light illumination. In a preferred embodiment, one of the discrete LEDs or LED chips within a discrete LED emits amber light. Another discrete LED or LED chip may emit blue-green light. In this manner, the soft illumination may be provided by activating only the amber LED or LED chip. Additionally, the current supplied to the amber LED or amber LED chip may be reduced so as to reduce the intensity of the light emitted from that LED or LED chip. The blue-green LEDs or LED chips may subsequently be automatically or manually activated. For example, if the amber LED is continuously on, activation of a remote keyless entry key fob or insertion of the vehicle key in the door lock may trigger an automatic response whereby the blue-green LEDs are energized and, optionally, the intensity of the amber LEDs is increased. Alternatively, the intensity of the console light may be increased manually using a number of different techniques so as to provide an additional map lamp, or a primary map lamp if map lamps 35 are not otherwise included in the mirror.

One way in which the intensity of the console light may be manually increased is by providing an additional pushbutton 66 on housing 30. Alternatively, a proximity switch and a sensing electrode may be mounted in the chin of the mirror near the channel mount, which is sensitive to the touch or near-proximity of a human hand. Such switches are well known and commonly referred to as a “capacitive switch,” which senses a change in the field projected by the proximity switch electrode. Another technique is to provide a light sensor 12, which is preferably in the form of an active pixel sensor as disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/307,191, entitled PHOTODIODE LIGHT SENSOR, filed on Apr. 13, 1999, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,359,274, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. Sensor 12 is provided to sense the reflection of light emitted from the amber LEDs as reflected off a person's hand when waved in close proximity to the bottom of the mirror housing 30 in the manner described above.

Although the above-noted console light is disclosed in the context of the transparent rearview assembly housing, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the inventive console light could otherwise be incorporated in an assembly with a non-transparent housing.

The transparent housing of the present invention may also contain illumination devices 70 about the periphery of the bezel that, when illuminated, provide an illuminated vanity mirror.

Another advantage of utilizing a transparent mirror housing is for lot traceability. Presently, the lot number is printed on the circuit board in the mirror housing, which would require that the housing be disassembled to read the lot number. With a transparent housing, the lot number 75 may be simply read from the circuit board through the housing. Similarly, the lot number or other information about the mirror may be provided in the form of a bar code printed inside the mirror housing such that it may be read right through the mirror housing.

The transparent housing of the present invention also enables manufacturers to readily assemble and inspect the rearview assemblies to ensure that all snap connections are properly engaged.

Yet another advantage of using a transparent housing is that the housing may be tinted different colors. Thus, the housing may be color matched to the interior or exterior color of the vehicle in which it is installed. Further, any LED mounted in the housing may be color matched to the mirror housing and the vehicle colors. It may also be advantageous to add a UV stabilizer to the material molded into the transparent housing so as to protect the internal components from damage due to direct exposure to sunlight.

As shown in FIG. 9, the transparent rearview assembly housing may also enable a laser radar detector 80 to be installed in the housing 30. Positioning a laser radar detector within the rearview assembly is particularly advantageous in that it provides a clear direct line of sight forward of the vehicle and rearward of the vehicle. By providing a transparent housing, the radar detector 80 may be incorporated within the housing 30 and detect laser light as commonly used by many law enforcement agencies. A rearward facing laser radar detector may also be provided in the housing 30 such that the detector detects light through a transparent portion of the bezel, an etched-out portion of a mirror 40, or is directed through a transflective portion of the mirror. Examples of transflective electrochromic rearview mirrors are disclosed in commonly assigned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/311,955, entitled ELECTROCHROMIC REARVIEW MIRROR INCORPORATING A THIRD SURFACE METAL REFLECTOR AND A DISPLAY/SIGNAL LIGHT filed on May 14, 1999, by William L. Tonar et al., now U.S. Pat. No. 6,356,376, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. An integral rearward/forward facing laser radar detector 80 may be employed. It is also possible that an aperture or transparent window be provided in an opaque rear casing to allow a forward facing laser radar detector to detect light when all or part of housing 30 is not transparent. Indicator lights 50, audible indicators, and/or manual user switches for detector 80 may be incorporated in housing 30.

As shown in FIG. 11, the rear casing 30 a of housing 30 may include several integrally formed strengthening ribs 85, which provide added strength to the rearview assembly. Such ribs are preferably integrally molded with casing 30 a and are also transparent.

As mentioned above, the rearview housing 30 of the present invention is preferably “transparent” meaning that the housing is optically transparent (i.e., substantially transparent to UV, IR, and visible light). Preferably, housing 30 is at least substantially transparent to visible light. In some applications, however, it may only be necessary that the housing be transparent to IR radiation. Likewise, it may not be necessary for the housing to be transparent to IR radiation.

It will be appreciated that less than all of the housing need be transparent to obtain some or all of the above advantages.

The above description is considered that of the preferred embodiments only. Modifications of the invention will occur to those skilled in the art and to those who make or use the invention. Therefore, it is understood that the embodiments shown in the drawings and described above are merely for illustrative purposes and not intended to limit the scope of the invention, which is defined by the following claims as interpreted according to the principles of patent law, including the doctrine of equivalents.

Claims (71)

What is claimed is:
1. A proximity switch comprising:
a radiation emitter for emitting radiation;
at least one photosensor for detecting light levels near said radiation emitter; and
an electronic circuit for energizing said radiation emitter and for receiving and processing signals from said photosensor so as to perform a specified function upon detecting an object that causes the radiation emitted from said radiation emitter to be reflected back to said photosensor.
2. The proximity switch of claim 1, wherein said electronic circuit is coupled to an illuminator assembly and wherein said specified function is to activate said illumination assembly.
3. The proximity switch of claim 1, wherein said radiation emitter emits non-visible radiation.
4. The proximity switch of claim 1, wherein said radiation emitter emits visible light.
5. The proximity switch of claim 1, wherein said radiation emitter emits visible light and is part of an illuminator.
6. A vehicle illuminator system comprising:
a lamp module for emitting light and configured for mounting to a vehicle;
a radiation emitter for emitting radiation;
at least one photosensor for detecting light levels near said radiation emitter; and
an electronic circuit for energizing said radiation emitter and for receiving and processing signals from said photosensor so as to cause said lamp module to emit light upon detecting an object that causes the radiation emitted from the radiation emitter to be reflected back to said photosensor.
7. The vehicle illuminator system of claim 6, wherein said radiation emitter is disposed in said lamp module.
8. The vehicle illuminator system of claim 6, wherein said photosensor is disposed in said lamp module.
9. The vehicle illuminator system of claim 6, wherein said radiation emitter emits visible light.
10. The vehicle illuminator system of claim 6, wherein the brightness of said radiation emitter changes when lamp module emits light.
11. The vehicle illuminator system of claim 6, wherein said lamp module emits light of two different levels of brightness.
12. The vehicle illuminator system of claim 6, wherein said radiation emitter includes an LED.
13. The vehicle illuminator system of claim 6, wherein said radiation emitter includes two LEDs that selectively emit binary complementary white light.
14. A rearview assembly for a vehicle comprising:
a mounting structure adapted to be mounted to a vehicle and including a housing;
rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to a vehicle occupant;
a light module disposed in said housing;
a radiation emitter for emitting radiation;
at least one photosensor for detecting light levels near said radiation emitter; and
an electronic circuit for energizing said radiation emitter and for receiving and processing signals from said photosensor so as to cause said light module to emit light upon detecting an object that causes the radiation emitted from the radiation emitter to be reflected back to said photosensor.
15. The rearview assembly of claim 14, wherein said rearward viewing means is a mirror.
16. The rearview assembly of claim 15, wherein said mirror is an electrochromic mirror.
17. The rearview assembly of claim 15, wherein said rearward viewing means further includes a display.
18. The rearview assembly of claim 14, wherein said rearward viewing means includes a display.
19. The rearview assembly of claim 14, wherein said radiation emitter is mounted in said housing.
20. The rearview assembly of claim 14, wherein said photosensor is mounted in said housing.
21. The rearview assembly of claim 14, wherein said housing is transparent.
22. An interior rearview assembly for a vehicle comprising:
a mounting structure configured to be secured to the vehicle in proximity to an upper portion of a windshield of the vehicle;
a transparent housing supported on said mounting structure, said transparent housing being transparent to visible light; and
rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to the driver of the vehicle, said rearward viewing means being supported by said transparent housing.
23. The interior rearview assembly of claim 22, wherein said rearward viewing means comprises a mirror.
24. The interior rearview assembly of claim 23, wherein said mirror is an electrochromic mirror.
25. The interior rearview assembly of claim 22, wherein said housing includes a transparent bezel surrounding said rearward viewing means.
26. The interior rearview assembly of claim 22 and further comprising at least one illuminator light disposed within said transparent housing.
27. The interior rearview assembly of claim 26, wherein said at least one illuminator light is a map light.
28. The interior rearview assembly of claim 26, wherein said at least one illuminator light is disposed to illuminate a central floor console.
29. The interior rearview assembly of claim 26, wherein said at least one illuminator light is configured to provide contour/mood lighting.
30. The interior rearview assembly of claim 22 and further comprising at least one indicator light disposed within said transparent housing.
31. The interior rearview assembly of claim 22 and further comprising a display disposed within said transparent housing.
32. The interior rearview assembly of claim 31, wherein said display is an alphanumeric display.
33. The interior rearview assembly of claim 22 and further comprising an ambient visible light sensor disposed within said transparent housing.
34. The interior rearview assembly of claim 22 and further comprising an image sensor disposed within said transparent housing.
35. The interior rearview assembly of claim 34, wherein said image sensor is configured to sense images of the vehicle windshield so as to enable moisture to be detected on the vehicle windshield.
36. The interior rearview assembly of claim 34, wherein said image sensor is configured to sense images forward of the vehicle so as to enable detection of headlamps of oncoming vehicles and tail lights of leading vehicles to thereby control the vehicle headlamps.
37. A rearview assembly for a vehicle comprising:
a mounting structure configured to be secured to the vehicle;
a transparent housing supported on said mounting structure, said transparent housing being transparent to infrared light;
rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to the driver of the vehicle, said rearward viewing means being supported by said transparent housing; and
an infrared data interface disposed in said transparent housing for enabling wireless communication with an electronic device within the vehicle.
38. The rearview assembly of claim 37, wherein the electronic device is one of a personal digital assistant and a portable computer.
39. The rearview assembly of claim 37, wherein said infrared data interface is configured to transmit diagnostic data to the electronic device.
40. The rearview assembly of claim 37, wherein said infrared data interface is configured to receive firmware upgrades from the electronic device.
41. The rearview assembly of claim 37, wherein said infrared data interface is configured to receive navigation map data from the electronic device.
42. The rearview assembly of claim 37, wherein said infrared data interface is configured to transmit trip computer data to the electronic device.
43. The rearview assembly of claim 37, wherein said rearview assembly is an interior rearview assembly and said mounting structure is configured to mount to the vehicle proximate the front windshield.
44. The rearview assembly of claim 37, wherein said rearward viewing means includes a mirror.
45. A rearview assembly for a vehicle comprising:
a mounting structure configured to be secured to the vehicle;
an optically transparent housing supported on said mounting structure;
rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to the driver of the vehicle, said rearward viewing means being supported by said transparent housing; and
an image sensor disposed in said transparent housing, wherein said transparent housing is transparent to the radiation to which said image sensor is sensitive.
46. The rearview assembly of claim 45, wherein said image sensor and said transparent housing are arranged such that said image sensor images a scene through said transparent housing.
47. The rearview assembly of claim 46, wherein said transparent housing includes an integrally formed lens disposed in front of said image sensor.
48. The rearview assembly of claim 45, wherein said transparent housing includes an integrally formed baffle disposed around said image sensor.
49. The rearview assembly of claim 45, wherein said image sensor is coupled to a headlamp control circuit that controls the headlamps of a vehicle in response to images obtained by said image sensor.
50. The rearview assembly of claim 45, wherein said image sensor is coupled to a windshield wiper control circuit that controls the windshield wipers of a vehicle in response to images obtained by said image sensor.
51. A rearview assembly for a vehicle comprising:
a mounting structure configured to be secured to the vehicle;
an optically transparent housing supported on said mounting structure;
rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to the driver of the vehicle, said rearward viewing means being supported by said transparent housing; and
information provided within said transparent housing that is readable by one or both of a machine reading device and a human from outside said transparent housing.
52. The rearview assembly of claim 51, wherein said transparent housing is transparent to visible light.
53. The rearview assembly of claim 51, wherein said information is at least partially encoded in a bar code.
54. The rearview assembly of claim 51, wherein said information is at least partially encoded in machine-readable symbology.
55. The rearview assembly of claim 51, wherein said information includes a part identification code.
56. A rearview assembly for a vehicle comprising:
a mounting structure configured to be secured to the vehicle;
an optically transparent housing supported on said mounting structure;
rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to the driver of the vehicle, said rearward viewing means being supported by said transparent housing;
an optical element disposed within said transparent housing and having an optical axis; and
a lens integrally formed in said transparent housing, wherein said optical element is disposed with its optical axis passing through said lens.
57. The rearview assembly of claim 56, wherein said optical element is an optical sensor.
58. The rearview assembly of claim 56, wherein said optical element is a light source.
59. The rearview assembly of claim 56, wherein said optical element is an image sensor.
60. The rearview assembly of claim 56, wherein said transparent housing includes a substantially opaque coating on an inside surface except for the region in which said lens is defined.
61. A rearview assembly for a vehicle comprising:
a mounting structure configured to be secured to the vehicle;
an optically transparent housing supported on said mounting structure, said transparent housing including a plurality of integrally molded strengthening ribs;
rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to the driver of the vehicle, said rearward viewing means being supported by said transparent housing; and
an optical element disposed within said transparent housing and having an optical axis.
62. The rearview assembly of claim 61, wherein said rearview assembly is an interior rearview assembly and said mounting structure is configured to mount to the vehicle proximate the front windshield.
63. The rearview assembly of claim 61, wherein said rearward viewing means includes a mirror.
64. A rearview assembly for a vehicle comprising:
a mounting structure configured to be secured to the vehicle;
a housing supported on said mounting structure;
rearward viewing means for providing a rearward view to the driver of the vehicle, said rearward viewing means being supported by said housing; and
a laser radar detector provided in said housing,
wherein at least one of said housing and said rearward viewing means is at least partially transparent to wavelengths of light to which said laser radar detector is sensitive.
65. The rearview assembly of claim 64, wherein said rearward viewing means is a mirror.
66. The rearview assembly of claim 65, wherein said mirror is a partially transmissive mirror.
67. The rearview assembly of claim 65, wherein said mirror is an electrochromic mirror that is partially transmissive.
68. The rearview assembly of claim 65, wherein said housing is at least partially transparent.
69. The rearview assembly of claim 68, wherein both said housing and said mirror are at least partially transparent.
70. The rearview assembly of claim 64, wherein said housing is at least partially transparent.
71. The rearview assembly of claim 64, wherein said rearview assembly is an interior rearview assembly and said mounting structure is configured to mount to the vehicle proximate the front windshield.
US09900500 1997-04-02 2001-07-06 Proximity switch and vehicle rearview mirror assembly incorporating the same and having a transparent housing Active 2020-06-07 US6614579B2 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US09425792 US6441943B1 (en) 1997-04-02 1999-10-22 Indicators and illuminators using a semiconductor radiation emitter package
US21629700 true 2000-07-06 2000-07-06
US24246500 true 2000-10-23 2000-10-23
US09900500 US6614579B2 (en) 1999-10-22 2001-07-06 Proximity switch and vehicle rearview mirror assembly incorporating the same and having a transparent housing

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US09900500 US6614579B2 (en) 1999-10-22 2001-07-06 Proximity switch and vehicle rearview mirror assembly incorporating the same and having a transparent housing

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20020024713A1 true US20020024713A1 (en) 2002-02-28
US6614579B2 true US6614579B2 (en) 2003-09-02

Family

ID=27792139

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US09900500 Active 2020-06-07 US6614579B2 (en) 1997-04-02 2001-07-06 Proximity switch and vehicle rearview mirror assembly incorporating the same and having a transparent housing

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US6614579B2 (en)

Cited By (134)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20030001724A1 (en) * 2001-06-16 2003-01-02 Robin Willats Access mechanism and engagement mechanism for a vehicle door
US20040100217A1 (en) * 2001-08-10 2004-05-27 Achim Neubauer Transmission detector for a window body in particular the windshield of a motor vehicle and a cleaning device for a viewing area of a window body
US20040184282A1 (en) * 2003-03-20 2004-09-23 Kazuhiko Nishijima Mirror assembly with multi-color illumination
US20040227625A1 (en) * 2003-05-15 2004-11-18 Webasto Ag Motor vehicle roof with a control means for electrical motor vehicle components and process for operating electrical motor vehicle components
US20050040333A1 (en) * 2003-07-11 2005-02-24 Benoist Fleury Infrared night vision system, in colour
US20050270621A1 (en) * 2004-06-08 2005-12-08 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly having an integral crush zone
US7073927B1 (en) * 2004-03-05 2006-07-11 Gorniak Jerry T Backup mirror accessory
US20070114810A1 (en) * 2005-11-21 2007-05-24 Lear Corporation System and method for actuation of a head restraint
US20070114822A1 (en) * 2005-11-21 2007-05-24 Lear Corporation System and method for actuation of a head restraint
US20080087797A1 (en) * 2006-10-17 2008-04-17 Turnbull Robert R Optical user interface system for automotive modules
US20080219017A1 (en) * 2007-03-06 2008-09-11 Lear Corporation Multi-Color to White Light-Emitting Diode for Map Pocket Light
US20080257706A1 (en) * 2007-04-20 2008-10-23 Haag Ronald H In-molded capacitive switch
US20080280083A1 (en) * 2007-05-09 2008-11-13 Shenzhen Futaihong Precision Industry Co., Ltd. Housing for an electronic device and method of making the same
US20090091489A1 (en) * 2007-10-04 2009-04-09 Banko Sarah V Rearview mirror assembly encompassing a radar detector and/or laser detector
US20090108985A1 (en) * 2007-04-20 2009-04-30 Ink-Logix, Llc In-molded resistive and shielding elements
US20090248255A1 (en) * 2008-03-29 2009-10-01 Lear Corporation Packaging and logistics of remote head restraint actuation technology
US20090262192A1 (en) * 1995-05-22 2009-10-22 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular vision system
US7688495B2 (en) 2006-03-03 2010-03-30 Gentex Corporation Thin-film coatings, electro-optic elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US7746534B2 (en) 2006-12-07 2010-06-29 Gentex Corporation Thin-film coatings, electro-optic elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US20100277070A1 (en) * 2009-04-29 2010-11-04 Hubbell Incorporated Scotopically enhanced emergency light and control thereof
US7830583B2 (en) 2006-03-03 2010-11-09 Gentex Corporation Electro-optical element including IMI coatings
US7859737B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2010-12-28 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system for a vehicle
US7864398B2 (en) 2004-06-08 2011-01-04 Gentex Corporation Electro-optical element including metallic films and methods for applying the same
US7864399B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2011-01-04 Donnelly Corporation Reflective mirror assembly
US7888629B2 (en) 1998-01-07 2011-02-15 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular accessory mounting system with a forwardly-viewing camera
US7898719B2 (en) 2003-10-02 2011-03-01 Donnelly Corporation Rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US7898398B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2011-03-01 Donnelly Corporation Interior mirror system
US7906756B2 (en) 2002-05-03 2011-03-15 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle rearview mirror system
US7916009B2 (en) 1998-01-07 2011-03-29 Donnelly Corporation Accessory mounting system suitable for use in a vehicle
US7914188B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2011-03-29 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system for a vehicle
US7918570B2 (en) 2002-06-06 2011-04-05 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular interior rearview information mirror system
US7926960B2 (en) 1999-11-24 2011-04-19 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system for vehicle
EP2322984A1 (en) 2003-05-06 2011-05-18 Gentex Corporation Vehicular rearview mirror elements comprising a peripheral light blocking strip
US20110133907A1 (en) * 2004-07-13 2011-06-09 Stiles Terry J Transmitter apparatus and system for remote signaling
US20110137529A1 (en) * 2009-12-04 2011-06-09 Lear Corporation Active Image Generation and Selective Remote Actuation of Head Restraint
US8000894B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2011-08-16 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular wireless communication system
US8019505B2 (en) 2003-10-14 2011-09-13 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle information display
US8035881B2 (en) 2007-03-05 2011-10-11 Gentex Corporation Multi-zone mirrors
EP2378350A1 (en) 2006-03-09 2011-10-19 Gentex Corporation Vehicle rearview assembly including a high intensity display
US8044776B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2011-10-25 Donnelly Corporation Rear vision system for vehicle
US8049640B2 (en) 2003-05-19 2011-11-01 Donnelly Corporation Mirror assembly for vehicle
US8072318B2 (en) 2001-01-23 2011-12-06 Donnelly Corporation Video mirror system for vehicle
US8083386B2 (en) 2001-01-23 2011-12-27 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror assembly with display device
US20120026616A1 (en) * 2009-03-23 2012-02-02 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Interior mirror assembly with adjustable mounting assembly
US20120043888A1 (en) * 2010-08-18 2012-02-23 Salter Stuart C Vehicle Interior Light Configured to Color Correct and Method Thereof
US20120049870A1 (en) * 2010-08-25 2012-03-01 Salter Stuart C Proximity Sensor with Enhanced Activation
US20120051022A1 (en) * 2010-09-01 2012-03-01 Sanyo Technology Center (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. Image display apparatus
US8154418B2 (en) 2008-03-31 2012-04-10 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Interior rearview mirror system
US8164817B2 (en) 1994-05-05 2012-04-24 Donnelly Corporation Method of forming a mirrored bent cut glass shape for vehicular exterior rearview mirror assembly
US8169681B2 (en) 2006-03-03 2012-05-01 Gentex Corporation Thin-film coatings, electro-optic elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US8169684B2 (en) 2002-09-30 2012-05-01 Gentex Corporation Vehicular rearview mirror elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US8179236B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2012-05-15 Donnelly Corporation Video mirror system suitable for use in a vehicle
US8194133B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2012-06-05 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular video mirror system
US8274729B2 (en) 2006-03-03 2012-09-25 Gentex Corporation Thin-film coatings, electro-optic elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US8277059B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2012-10-02 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular electrochromic interior rearview mirror assembly
US8282226B2 (en) 2002-06-06 2012-10-09 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system
US8283800B2 (en) 2010-05-27 2012-10-09 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Vehicle control system with proximity switch and method thereof
US8288711B2 (en) 1998-01-07 2012-10-16 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system with forwardly-viewing camera and a control
US8294975B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2012-10-23 Donnelly Corporation Automotive rearview mirror assembly
US20120268961A1 (en) * 2010-10-12 2012-10-25 Cammenga David J Clear bezel
US8368992B2 (en) 2006-03-03 2013-02-05 Gentex Corporation Electro-optical element including IMI coatings
US8454181B2 (en) 2010-08-25 2013-06-04 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Light bar proximity switch
US8503062B2 (en) 2005-05-16 2013-08-06 Donnelly Corporation Rearview mirror element assembly for vehicle
US8508831B2 (en) 2009-04-23 2013-08-13 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Mirror assembly for vehicle
US8511841B2 (en) 1994-05-05 2013-08-20 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular blind spot indicator mirror
US8525703B2 (en) 1998-04-08 2013-09-03 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system
US8614847B2 (en) 2002-09-30 2013-12-24 Gentex Corporation Vehicular rearview mirror elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US8649083B2 (en) 2007-03-05 2014-02-11 Gentex Corporation Multi-zone mirrors
US8710969B2 (en) 2004-08-18 2014-04-29 Magna Electronics Inc. Accessory system for vehicle
US8730553B2 (en) 2009-04-23 2014-05-20 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Frameless interior rearview mirror assembly
US20140146551A1 (en) * 2010-09-17 2014-05-29 Douglas C. Campbell Interior rearview mirror assembly with integrated indicator symbol
US8796575B2 (en) 2012-10-31 2014-08-05 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly having ground layer
US8818042B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2014-08-26 Magna Electronics Inc. Driver assistance system for vehicle
US8864322B2 (en) 2012-08-24 2014-10-21 Gentex Corporation Shaped rearview mirror assembly
US8878438B2 (en) 2011-11-04 2014-11-04 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Lamp and proximity switch assembly and method
US8885240B2 (en) 2011-08-04 2014-11-11 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly for a vehicle
US8917169B2 (en) 1993-02-26 2014-12-23 Magna Electronics Inc. Vehicular vision system
US8922340B2 (en) 2012-09-11 2014-12-30 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch based door latch release
US8928336B2 (en) 2011-06-09 2015-01-06 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch having sensitivity control and method therefor
US8933708B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2015-01-13 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and activation method with exploration mode
US8975903B2 (en) 2011-06-09 2015-03-10 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch having learned sensitivity and method therefor
US8981602B2 (en) 2012-05-29 2015-03-17 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly having non-switch contact and method
US8993951B2 (en) 1996-03-25 2015-03-31 Magna Electronics Inc. Driver assistance system for a vehicle
US8994228B2 (en) 2011-11-03 2015-03-31 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch having wrong touch feedback
US9019091B2 (en) 1999-11-24 2015-04-28 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system
US9056584B2 (en) 2010-07-08 2015-06-16 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly for a vehicle
US9065447B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2015-06-23 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and method having adaptive time delay
US9090213B2 (en) 2004-12-15 2015-07-28 Magna Electronics Inc. Accessory mounting system for a vehicle
US9136840B2 (en) 2012-05-17 2015-09-15 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly having dynamic tuned threshold
US9134585B2 (en) 2002-09-30 2015-09-15 Gentex Corporation Automotive rearview mirror with capacitive switches
US9143126B2 (en) 2011-09-22 2015-09-22 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch having lockout control for controlling movable panel
US9171217B2 (en) 2002-05-03 2015-10-27 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for vehicle
US9184745B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2015-11-10 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and method of sensing user input based on signal rate of change
US9197206B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2015-11-24 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch having differential contact surface
US20150336506A1 (en) * 2014-05-23 2015-11-26 Hyundai Motor Company Method of controlling button symbol of inside mirror
US9219472B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2015-12-22 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and activation method using rate monitoring
US9274394B2 (en) 2007-03-05 2016-03-01 Gentex Corporation Multi-zone mirrors
US9287864B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2016-03-15 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and calibration method therefor
US9283900B2 (en) 1999-08-25 2016-03-15 Magna Electronics Inc. Accessory mounting system for a vehicle
US9311204B2 (en) 2013-03-13 2016-04-12 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity interface development system having replicator and method
US9316347B2 (en) 2012-01-24 2016-04-19 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly with interchangeable rearward viewing device
US9327648B2 (en) 2013-01-04 2016-05-03 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly with exposed carrier plate
US9337832B2 (en) 2012-06-06 2016-05-10 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch and method of adjusting sensitivity therefor
US9346403B2 (en) 2009-10-07 2016-05-24 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Rearview mirror assembly
US9346402B2 (en) 2002-09-30 2016-05-24 Gentex Corporation Vehicular rearview mirror elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US9400579B2 (en) 2008-10-24 2016-07-26 Apple Inc. Disappearing button or slider
US9434314B2 (en) 1998-04-08 2016-09-06 Donnelly Corporation Electronic accessory system for a vehicle
US9436880B2 (en) 1999-08-12 2016-09-06 Magna Electronics Inc. Vehicle vision system
US9440535B2 (en) 2006-08-11 2016-09-13 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for vehicle
CN105939874A (en) * 2013-09-30 2016-09-14 Dav公司 Light device for viewing control of function
US9487142B2 (en) 2013-06-25 2016-11-08 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US9488892B2 (en) 2013-01-09 2016-11-08 Gentex Corporation Printed appliqué and method thereof
US9505349B2 (en) 2012-04-24 2016-11-29 Gentex Corporation Display mirror assembly
US9520875B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2016-12-13 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Pliable proximity switch assembly and activation method
US9531379B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2016-12-27 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly having groove between adjacent proximity sensors
US9548733B2 (en) 2015-05-20 2017-01-17 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity sensor assembly having interleaved electrode configuration
US9559688B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2017-01-31 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly having pliable surface and depression
US9568527B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2017-02-14 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and activation method having virtual button mode
US9575315B2 (en) 2013-09-24 2017-02-21 Gentex Corporation Display mirror assembly
USD783480S1 (en) 2014-12-05 2017-04-11 Gentex Corporation Rearview device
US9641172B2 (en) 2012-06-27 2017-05-02 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly having varying size electrode fingers
US9654103B2 (en) 2015-03-18 2017-05-16 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly having haptic feedback and method
US9660644B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2017-05-23 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and activation method
US9667096B2 (en) 2011-08-29 2017-05-30 Hubbell Incorporated LED-based emergency lighting equipment and methodology
US9676336B2 (en) 2013-06-25 2017-06-13 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Exterior rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US9694751B2 (en) 2014-09-19 2017-07-04 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly
US9694752B2 (en) 2014-11-07 2017-07-04 Gentex Corporation Full display mirror actuator
US9796334B2 (en) 2014-06-13 2017-10-24 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Exterior rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US9827913B2 (en) 2010-02-10 2017-11-28 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Exterior rearview mirror assembly
US9831870B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2017-11-28 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and method of tuning same
US9862323B2 (en) 2002-01-31 2018-01-09 Magna Electronics Inc. Vehicle accessory system
USD809984S1 (en) 2016-12-07 2018-02-13 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly
US9944237B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2018-04-17 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly with signal drift rejection and method
USD817238S1 (en) 2016-04-29 2018-05-08 Gentex Corporation Rearview device

Families Citing this family (19)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP4301537B2 (en) * 2001-08-13 2009-07-22 パイオニア株式会社 Mobile navigation system and method, and computer program
JP4818609B2 (en) 2002-08-21 2011-11-16 ジェンテックス コーポレイション Image acquisition and processing method for automatic control of external vehicle illumination
DE10246607B4 (en) * 2002-10-05 2014-08-14 Volkswagen Ag Electrochromic radar sensor
CN101778150A (en) 2003-05-19 2010-07-14 金泰克斯公司 Rearview mirror assemblies incorporating hands-free telephone components
US6958683B2 (en) * 2003-10-02 2005-10-25 Ford Motor Company Multipurpose vision sensor system
US7389171B2 (en) * 2003-12-22 2008-06-17 Ford Global Technologies Llc Single vision sensor object detection system
DE102004008059A1 (en) * 2004-02-19 2005-09-22 Sick Ag Light barrier or light grid with alignment
FR2870612B1 (en) * 2004-05-24 2006-09-29 Dav Sa A control device for interior lighting of a motor vehicle such as a door portion recess
JP4252938B2 (en) * 2004-07-07 2009-04-08 株式会社デンソー Vehicle interior lighting device for a vehicle
GB0524729D0 (en) * 2005-12-03 2006-01-11 Daer Lighting Ltd Illuminated mirror
DE102008014143B4 (en) * 2008-03-14 2011-05-12 Wilke, Hans-Jürgen, Dipl.-Ing. lighting system
WO2009123620A1 (en) * 2008-04-01 2009-10-08 Micro Motion, Inc. A method, computer program product, and system for preventing inadvertent configuration of electronic devices provided with infrared data association interfaces
EP2487070A1 (en) * 2011-02-14 2012-08-15 SMR Patents S.à.r.l. Interior rear view mirror of a rear view mirror assembly for motor vehicles
US9972336B2 (en) 2013-02-12 2018-05-15 Nec Corporation Speech input apparatus, speech processing method, speech processing program, ceiling member, and vehicle
US20140340757A1 (en) * 2013-05-16 2014-11-20 GM Global Technology Operations LLC Mirror assembly
US9227565B2 (en) * 2013-09-03 2016-01-05 Nissan North America, Inc. Vehicle illumination assembly
US9322908B2 (en) * 2013-12-23 2016-04-26 Elwha Llc Systems and methods for concealed radar imaging
US20150253857A1 (en) * 2013-12-23 2015-09-10 Cameron International Corporation Infrared Gesture Detection for use in Explosion Proof Enclosures
DE102014006447A1 (en) 2014-05-02 2014-10-23 Daimler Ag Interior mirror for a vehicle

Citations (15)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6172613B2 (en) *
US5303130A (en) 1992-12-28 1994-04-12 Wei Yung Feng Illuminating automobile sideview mirror
US6011518A (en) 1996-07-26 2000-01-04 Harness System Technologies Research, Ltd. Vehicle antenna
EP0972680A2 (en) 1998-07-14 2000-01-19 Kayama, Yuki A wing mirror for use in a vehicle
US6049271A (en) 1999-06-29 2000-04-11 Chu; Ching-Ti Vehicle rearview mirror with multiple signal means
US6087953A (en) * 1998-02-18 2000-07-11 Donnelly Corporation Rearview mirror support incorporating vehicle information display
US6111683A (en) * 1997-04-02 2000-08-29 Gentex Corporation Electrochromic mirrors having a signal light
US6124886A (en) * 1997-08-25 2000-09-26 Donnelly Corporation Modular rearview mirror assembly
US6139172A (en) * 1994-12-30 2000-10-31 Donnelly Corporation Interior mirror assembly for a vehicle incorporating a solid-state light source
US6152590A (en) * 1998-02-13 2000-11-28 Donnelly Hohe Gmbh & Co. Kg Lighting device for motor vehicles
US6172613B1 (en) * 1998-02-18 2001-01-09 Donnelly Corporation Rearview mirror assembly incorporating vehicle information display
US6206553B1 (en) * 1998-01-22 2001-03-27 Magna Mirror Systems Inc. Single pivot mirror with security light
US6262831B1 (en) * 1999-10-22 2001-07-17 Gentex Corporation Power supply for electrochromic mirrors in high voltage automotive power systems
US6276821B1 (en) * 1992-12-16 2001-08-21 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle exterior mirror system with signal light
US6356376B1 (en) * 1997-04-02 2002-03-12 Gentex Corporation Electrochromic rearview mirror incorporating a third surface metal reflector and a display/signal light

Patent Citations (15)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6172613B2 (en) *
US6276821B1 (en) * 1992-12-16 2001-08-21 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle exterior mirror system with signal light
US5303130A (en) 1992-12-28 1994-04-12 Wei Yung Feng Illuminating automobile sideview mirror
US6139172A (en) * 1994-12-30 2000-10-31 Donnelly Corporation Interior mirror assembly for a vehicle incorporating a solid-state light source
US6011518A (en) 1996-07-26 2000-01-04 Harness System Technologies Research, Ltd. Vehicle antenna
US6111683A (en) * 1997-04-02 2000-08-29 Gentex Corporation Electrochromic mirrors having a signal light
US6356376B1 (en) * 1997-04-02 2002-03-12 Gentex Corporation Electrochromic rearview mirror incorporating a third surface metal reflector and a display/signal light
US6124886A (en) * 1997-08-25 2000-09-26 Donnelly Corporation Modular rearview mirror assembly
US6206553B1 (en) * 1998-01-22 2001-03-27 Magna Mirror Systems Inc. Single pivot mirror with security light
US6152590A (en) * 1998-02-13 2000-11-28 Donnelly Hohe Gmbh & Co. Kg Lighting device for motor vehicles
US6087953A (en) * 1998-02-18 2000-07-11 Donnelly Corporation Rearview mirror support incorporating vehicle information display
US6172613B1 (en) * 1998-02-18 2001-01-09 Donnelly Corporation Rearview mirror assembly incorporating vehicle information display
EP0972680A2 (en) 1998-07-14 2000-01-19 Kayama, Yuki A wing mirror for use in a vehicle
US6049271A (en) 1999-06-29 2000-04-11 Chu; Ching-Ti Vehicle rearview mirror with multiple signal means
US6262831B1 (en) * 1999-10-22 2001-07-17 Gentex Corporation Power supply for electrochromic mirrors in high voltage automotive power systems

Cited By (271)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8917169B2 (en) 1993-02-26 2014-12-23 Magna Electronics Inc. Vehicular vision system
US8164817B2 (en) 1994-05-05 2012-04-24 Donnelly Corporation Method of forming a mirrored bent cut glass shape for vehicular exterior rearview mirror assembly
US8511841B2 (en) 1994-05-05 2013-08-20 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular blind spot indicator mirror
US8559093B2 (en) 1995-04-27 2013-10-15 Donnelly Corporation Electrochromic mirror reflective element for vehicular rearview mirror assembly
US20090262192A1 (en) * 1995-05-22 2009-10-22 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular vision system
US8462204B2 (en) 1995-05-22 2013-06-11 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular vision system
US8993951B2 (en) 1996-03-25 2015-03-31 Magna Electronics Inc. Driver assistance system for a vehicle
US8842176B2 (en) 1996-05-22 2014-09-23 Donnelly Corporation Automatic vehicle exterior light control
US8294975B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2012-10-23 Donnelly Corporation Automotive rearview mirror assembly
US8309907B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2012-11-13 Donnelly Corporation Accessory system suitable for use in a vehicle and accommodating a rain sensor
US8100568B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2012-01-24 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system for a vehicle
US8779910B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2014-07-15 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system
US8610992B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2013-12-17 Donnelly Corporation Variable transmission window
US8267559B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2012-09-18 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror assembly for a vehicle
US8926151B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2015-01-06 Magna Electronics Inc. Vehicular accessory system
US8063753B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2011-11-22 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system
US7914188B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2011-03-29 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system for a vehicle
US9718357B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2017-08-01 Magna Electronics Inc. Vehicular accessory system
US9035233B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2015-05-19 Magna Electronics Inc. Accessory mounting system for mounting an electronic device at a windshield of a vehicle
US7898398B2 (en) 1997-08-25 2011-03-01 Donnelly Corporation Interior mirror system
US8134117B2 (en) 1998-01-07 2012-03-13 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular having a camera, a rain sensor and a single-ball interior electrochromic mirror assembly attached at an attachment element
US8325028B2 (en) 1998-01-07 2012-12-04 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system
US8094002B2 (en) 1998-01-07 2012-01-10 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system
US7916009B2 (en) 1998-01-07 2011-03-29 Donnelly Corporation Accessory mounting system suitable for use in a vehicle
US8288711B2 (en) 1998-01-07 2012-10-16 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system with forwardly-viewing camera and a control
US7994471B2 (en) 1998-01-07 2011-08-09 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system with forwardly-viewing camera
US9527445B2 (en) 1998-01-07 2016-12-27 Magna Electronics Inc. Accessory mounting system for mounting an accessory at a vehicle such that a camera views through the vehicle windshield
US7888629B2 (en) 1998-01-07 2011-02-15 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular accessory mounting system with a forwardly-viewing camera
US8884788B2 (en) 1998-04-08 2014-11-11 Donnelly Corporation Automotive communication system
US9481306B2 (en) 1998-04-08 2016-11-01 Donnelly Corporation Automotive communication system
US9434314B2 (en) 1998-04-08 2016-09-06 Donnelly Corporation Electronic accessory system for a vehicle
US9221399B2 (en) 1998-04-08 2015-12-29 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Automotive communication system
US8525703B2 (en) 1998-04-08 2013-09-03 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system
US9436880B2 (en) 1999-08-12 2016-09-06 Magna Electronics Inc. Vehicle vision system
US9539956B2 (en) 1999-08-25 2017-01-10 Magna Electronics Inc. Accessory system for a vehicle
US9446715B2 (en) 1999-08-25 2016-09-20 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for a vehicle
US9283900B2 (en) 1999-08-25 2016-03-15 Magna Electronics Inc. Accessory mounting system for a vehicle
US9193302B2 (en) 1999-11-04 2015-11-24 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for a vehicle
US8749367B2 (en) 1999-11-04 2014-06-10 Magna Electronics Inc. Driver assistance system for a vehicle
US9637053B2 (en) 1999-11-04 2017-05-02 Magna Electronics Inc. Accessory mounting system for a vehicle
US9233645B2 (en) 1999-11-04 2016-01-12 Magna Electronics Inc. Accessory mounting system for a vehicle
US9019091B2 (en) 1999-11-24 2015-04-28 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system
US9278654B2 (en) 1999-11-24 2016-03-08 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system for vehicle
US9376061B2 (en) 1999-11-24 2016-06-28 Donnelly Corporation Accessory system of a vehicle
US8162493B2 (en) 1999-11-24 2012-04-24 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US7926960B2 (en) 1999-11-24 2011-04-19 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system for vehicle
US8000894B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2011-08-16 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular wireless communication system
US9315151B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2016-04-19 Magna Electronics Inc. Driver assist system for vehicle
US8427288B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2013-04-23 Donnelly Corporation Rear vision system for a vehicle
US8676491B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2014-03-18 Magna Electronics Inc. Driver assist system for vehicle
US8543330B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2013-09-24 Donnelly Corporation Driver assist system for vehicle
US8121787B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2012-02-21 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular video mirror system
US9019090B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2015-04-28 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for vehicle
US9809168B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2017-11-07 Magna Electronics Inc. Driver assist system for vehicle
US8044776B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2011-10-25 Donnelly Corporation Rear vision system for vehicle
US8271187B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2012-09-18 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular video mirror system
US8179236B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2012-05-15 Donnelly Corporation Video mirror system suitable for use in a vehicle
US9014966B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2015-04-21 Magna Electronics Inc. Driver assist system for vehicle
US8194133B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2012-06-05 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular video mirror system
US8908039B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2014-12-09 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular video mirror system
US8095310B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2012-01-10 Donnelly Corporation Video mirror system for a vehicle
US9809171B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2017-11-07 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for vehicle
US9843777B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2017-12-12 Magna Electronics Inc. Cabin monitoring system for a vehicle
US9783114B2 (en) 2000-03-02 2017-10-10 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular video mirror system
US9694749B2 (en) 2001-01-23 2017-07-04 Magna Electronics Inc. Trailer hitching aid system for vehicle
US8083386B2 (en) 2001-01-23 2011-12-27 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror assembly with display device
US9352623B2 (en) 2001-01-23 2016-05-31 Magna Electronics Inc. Trailer hitching aid system for vehicle
US8654433B2 (en) 2001-01-23 2014-02-18 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US8653959B2 (en) 2001-01-23 2014-02-18 Donnelly Corporation Video mirror system for a vehicle
US8072318B2 (en) 2001-01-23 2011-12-06 Donnelly Corporation Video mirror system for vehicle
US20030001724A1 (en) * 2001-06-16 2003-01-02 Robin Willats Access mechanism and engagement mechanism for a vehicle door
US20040100217A1 (en) * 2001-08-10 2004-05-27 Achim Neubauer Transmission detector for a window body in particular the windshield of a motor vehicle and a cleaning device for a viewing area of a window body
US6954047B2 (en) * 2001-08-10 2005-10-11 Robert Bosch Gmbh Transmission detector for a window body, in particular the windshield of a motor vehicle, and a cleaning device for a viewing area of a window body
US9862323B2 (en) 2002-01-31 2018-01-09 Magna Electronics Inc. Vehicle accessory system
US9555803B2 (en) 2002-05-03 2017-01-31 Magna Electronics Inc. Driver assistance system for vehicle
US9834216B2 (en) 2002-05-03 2017-12-05 Magna Electronics Inc. Vehicular control system using cameras and radar sensor
US7906756B2 (en) 2002-05-03 2011-03-15 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle rearview mirror system
US9171217B2 (en) 2002-05-03 2015-10-27 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for vehicle
US8304711B2 (en) 2002-05-03 2012-11-06 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle rearview mirror system
US8106347B2 (en) 2002-05-03 2012-01-31 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle rearview mirror system
US9643605B2 (en) 2002-05-03 2017-05-09 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for vehicle
US8282226B2 (en) 2002-06-06 2012-10-09 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system
US8608327B2 (en) 2002-06-06 2013-12-17 Donnelly Corporation Automatic compass system for vehicle
US8465162B2 (en) 2002-06-06 2013-06-18 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular interior rearview mirror system
US8047667B2 (en) 2002-06-06 2011-11-01 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular interior rearview mirror system
US7918570B2 (en) 2002-06-06 2011-04-05 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular interior rearview information mirror system
US8177376B2 (en) 2002-06-06 2012-05-15 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular interior rearview mirror system
US8465163B2 (en) 2002-06-06 2013-06-18 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system
US8400704B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2013-03-19 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system for a vehicle
US9545883B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2017-01-17 Donnelly Corporation Exterior rearview mirror assembly
US9073491B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2015-07-07 Donnelly Corporation Exterior rearview mirror assembly
US8277059B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2012-10-02 Donnelly Corporation Vehicular electrochromic interior rearview mirror assembly
US8727547B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2014-05-20 Donnelly Corporation Variable reflectance mirror reflective element for exterior mirror assembly
US8228588B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2012-07-24 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror information display system for a vehicle
US7864399B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2011-01-04 Donnelly Corporation Reflective mirror assembly
US9878670B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2018-01-30 Donnelly Corporation Variable reflectance mirror reflective element for exterior mirror assembly
US8506096B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2013-08-13 Donnelly Corporation Variable reflectance mirror reflective element for exterior mirror assembly
US7859737B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2010-12-28 Donnelly Corporation Interior rearview mirror system for a vehicle
US8335032B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2012-12-18 Donnelly Corporation Reflective mirror assembly
US9341914B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2016-05-17 Donnelly Corporation Variable reflectance mirror reflective element for exterior mirror assembly
US8797627B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2014-08-05 Donnelly Corporation Exterior rearview mirror assembly
US9090211B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2015-07-28 Donnelly Corporation Variable reflectance mirror reflective element for exterior mirror assembly
US8730551B2 (en) 2002-09-30 2014-05-20 Gentex Corporation Vehicular rearview mirror elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US8614845B2 (en) 2002-09-30 2013-12-24 Gentex Corporation Vehicular rearview mirror elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US8638488B2 (en) 2002-09-30 2014-01-28 Gentex Corporation Vehicular rearview mirror elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US8614847B2 (en) 2002-09-30 2013-12-24 Gentex Corporation Vehicular rearview mirror elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US9134585B2 (en) 2002-09-30 2015-09-15 Gentex Corporation Automotive rearview mirror with capacitive switches
US8559092B2 (en) 2002-09-30 2013-10-15 Gentex Corporation Vehicular rearview mirror elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US9041998B2 (en) 2002-09-30 2015-05-26 Gentex Corporation Vehicular rearview mirror elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US8614846B2 (en) 2002-09-30 2013-12-24 Gentex Corporation Vehicular rearview mirror elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US8169684B2 (en) 2002-09-30 2012-05-01 Gentex Corporation Vehicular rearview mirror elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US9346402B2 (en) 2002-09-30 2016-05-24 Gentex Corporation Vehicular rearview mirror elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US20040184282A1 (en) * 2003-03-20 2004-09-23 Kazuhiko Nishijima Mirror assembly with multi-color illumination
US6958495B2 (en) * 2003-03-20 2005-10-25 Gentex Corporation Mirror assembly with multi-color illumination
EP2322984A1 (en) 2003-05-06 2011-05-18 Gentex Corporation Vehicular rearview mirror elements comprising a peripheral light blocking strip
US20040227625A1 (en) * 2003-05-15 2004-11-18 Webasto Ag Motor vehicle roof with a control means for electrical motor vehicle components and process for operating electrical motor vehicle components
US7342485B2 (en) * 2003-05-15 2008-03-11 Webasto Ag Motor vehicle roof with a control means for electrical motor vehicle components and process for operating electrical motor vehicle components
US8049640B2 (en) 2003-05-19 2011-11-01 Donnelly Corporation Mirror assembly for vehicle
US8325055B2 (en) 2003-05-19 2012-12-04 Donnelly Corporation Mirror assembly for vehicle
US8508384B2 (en) 2003-05-19 2013-08-13 Donnelly Corporation Rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US9783115B2 (en) 2003-05-19 2017-10-10 Donnelly Corporation Rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US9557584B2 (en) 2003-05-19 2017-01-31 Donnelly Corporation Rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US7358496B2 (en) * 2003-07-11 2008-04-15 Valeo Vision Infrared night vision system, in colour
US20050040333A1 (en) * 2003-07-11 2005-02-24 Benoist Fleury Infrared night vision system, in colour
US7898719B2 (en) 2003-10-02 2011-03-01 Donnelly Corporation Rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US8379289B2 (en) 2003-10-02 2013-02-19 Donnelly Corporation Rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US8179586B2 (en) 2003-10-02 2012-05-15 Donnelly Corporation Rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US8705161B2 (en) 2003-10-02 2014-04-22 Donnelly Corporation Method of manufacturing a reflective element for a vehicular rearview mirror assembly
US8577549B2 (en) 2003-10-14 2013-11-05 Donnelly Corporation Information display system for a vehicle
US8095260B1 (en) 2003-10-14 2012-01-10 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle information display
US8170748B1 (en) 2003-10-14 2012-05-01 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle information display system
US8355839B2 (en) 2003-10-14 2013-01-15 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle vision system with night vision function
US8019505B2 (en) 2003-10-14 2011-09-13 Donnelly Corporation Vehicle information display
US7073927B1 (en) * 2004-03-05 2006-07-11 Gorniak Jerry T Backup mirror accessory
US9609289B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2017-03-28 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for vehicle
US9428192B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2016-08-30 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for vehicle
US8818042B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2014-08-26 Magna Electronics Inc. Driver assistance system for vehicle
US9948904B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2018-04-17 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for vehicle
US9736435B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2017-08-15 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for vehicle
US9191634B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2015-11-17 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for vehicle
US9008369B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2015-04-14 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for vehicle
US7706046B2 (en) 2004-06-08 2010-04-27 Gentex Corporation Rearview mirror element having a circuit mounted to the rear surface of the element
US7864398B2 (en) 2004-06-08 2011-01-04 Gentex Corporation Electro-optical element including metallic films and methods for applying the same
US20050270621A1 (en) * 2004-06-08 2005-12-08 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly having an integral crush zone
US7196836B2 (en) 2004-06-08 2007-03-27 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly having an integral crush zone
US20110133907A1 (en) * 2004-07-13 2011-06-09 Stiles Terry J Transmitter apparatus and system for remote signaling
US8710969B2 (en) 2004-08-18 2014-04-29 Magna Electronics Inc. Accessory system for vehicle
US9266474B2 (en) 2004-08-18 2016-02-23 Magna Electronics Inc. Accessory system for vehicle
US8282253B2 (en) 2004-11-22 2012-10-09 Donnelly Corporation Mirror reflective element sub-assembly for exterior rearview mirror of a vehicle
US9090213B2 (en) 2004-12-15 2015-07-28 Magna Electronics Inc. Accessory mounting system for a vehicle
US8503062B2 (en) 2005-05-16 2013-08-06 Donnelly Corporation Rearview mirror element assembly for vehicle
US8833987B2 (en) 2005-09-14 2014-09-16 Donnelly Corporation Mirror reflective element sub-assembly for exterior rearview mirror of a vehicle
US9045091B2 (en) 2005-09-14 2015-06-02 Donnelly Corporation Mirror reflective element sub-assembly for exterior rearview mirror of a vehicle
US9694753B2 (en) 2005-09-14 2017-07-04 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Mirror reflective element sub-assembly for exterior rearview mirror of a vehicle
US9758102B1 (en) 2005-09-14 2017-09-12 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Mirror reflective element sub-assembly for exterior rearview mirror of a vehicle
US7441821B2 (en) * 2005-11-21 2008-10-28 Lear Corporation System and method for actuation of a head restraint
US7556306B2 (en) * 2005-11-21 2009-07-07 Lear Corporation System and method for actuation of a head restraint
US20070114822A1 (en) * 2005-11-21 2007-05-24 Lear Corporation System and method for actuation of a head restraint
US20070114810A1 (en) * 2005-11-21 2007-05-24 Lear Corporation System and method for actuation of a head restraint
US7830583B2 (en) 2006-03-03 2010-11-09 Gentex Corporation Electro-optical element including IMI coatings
US8873127B2 (en) 2006-03-03 2014-10-28 Gentex Corporation Thin-film coatings, electro-optic elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US8547622B2 (en) 2006-03-03 2013-10-01 Gentex Corporation Thin-film coatings, electro-optic elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US8274729B2 (en) 2006-03-03 2012-09-25 Gentex Corporation Thin-film coatings, electro-optic elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US8169681B2 (en) 2006-03-03 2012-05-01 Gentex Corporation Thin-film coatings, electro-optic elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US9529214B2 (en) 2006-03-03 2016-12-27 Gentex Corporation Thin-film coatings, electro-optic elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US7688495B2 (en) 2006-03-03 2010-03-30 Gentex Corporation Thin-film coatings, electro-optic elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US8368992B2 (en) 2006-03-03 2013-02-05 Gentex Corporation Electro-optical element including IMI coatings
EP2378350A1 (en) 2006-03-09 2011-10-19 Gentex Corporation Vehicle rearview assembly including a high intensity display
US9440535B2 (en) 2006-08-11 2016-09-13 Magna Electronics Inc. Vision system for vehicle
US7817020B2 (en) * 2006-10-17 2010-10-19 Gentex Corporation Optical user interface system for automotive modules
US20080087797A1 (en) * 2006-10-17 2008-04-17 Turnbull Robert R Optical user interface system for automotive modules
EP2084686A2 (en) * 2006-10-17 2009-08-05 Gentex Corporation Optical user interface system for automotive modules
WO2008048930A2 (en) 2006-10-17 2008-04-24 Gentex Corporation Optical user interface system for automotive modules
WO2008048930A3 (en) * 2006-10-17 2008-08-07 Gentex Corp Optical user interface system for automotive modules
EP2084686A4 (en) * 2006-10-17 2011-04-13 Gentex Corp Optical user interface system for automotive modules
US7746534B2 (en) 2006-12-07 2010-06-29 Gentex Corporation Thin-film coatings, electro-optic elements and assemblies incorporating these elements
US8035881B2 (en) 2007-03-05 2011-10-11 Gentex Corporation Multi-zone mirrors
US8649083B2 (en) 2007-03-05 2014-02-11 Gentex Corporation Multi-zone mirrors
US9274394B2 (en) 2007-03-05 2016-03-01 Gentex Corporation Multi-zone mirrors
US20080219017A1 (en) * 2007-03-06 2008-09-11 Lear Corporation Multi-Color to White Light-Emitting Diode for Map Pocket Light
US8198979B2 (en) 2007-04-20 2012-06-12 Ink-Logix, Llc In-molded resistive and shielding elements
US20080257706A1 (en) * 2007-04-20 2008-10-23 Haag Ronald H In-molded capacitive switch
US9576755B2 (en) 2007-04-20 2017-02-21 T+Ink, Inc. In-molded resistive and shielding elements
US20090108985A1 (en) * 2007-04-20 2009-04-30 Ink-Logix, Llc In-molded resistive and shielding elements
US8514545B2 (en) 2007-04-20 2013-08-20 Ink-Logix, Llc In-molded capacitive switch
US20080280083A1 (en) * 2007-05-09 2008-11-13 Shenzhen Futaihong Precision Industry Co., Ltd. Housing for an electronic device and method of making the same
US7532149B2 (en) * 2007-10-04 2009-05-12 Banko Industries Rearview mirror assembly encompassing a radar detector and/or laser detector
US20090091489A1 (en) * 2007-10-04 2009-04-09 Banko Sarah V Rearview mirror assembly encompassing a radar detector and/or laser detector
US20090248255A1 (en) * 2008-03-29 2009-10-01 Lear Corporation Packaging and logistics of remote head restraint actuation technology
US8600624B2 (en) 2008-03-29 2013-12-03 Lear Corporation Method of matching component for vehicle head restraint actuation system
US8508383B2 (en) 2008-03-31 2013-08-13 Magna Mirrors of America, Inc Interior rearview mirror system
US8154418B2 (en) 2008-03-31 2012-04-10 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Interior rearview mirror system
US9400579B2 (en) 2008-10-24 2016-07-26 Apple Inc. Disappearing button or slider
US8451332B2 (en) * 2009-03-23 2013-05-28 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Interior mirror assembly with adjustable mounting assembly
US20120026616A1 (en) * 2009-03-23 2012-02-02 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Interior mirror assembly with adjustable mounting assembly
US9481303B2 (en) 2009-04-23 2016-11-01 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Method of making a mirror substrate for an interior rearview mirror assembly for a vehicle
US9090212B2 (en) 2009-04-23 2015-07-28 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Frameless interior rearview mirror assembly
US8730553B2 (en) 2009-04-23 2014-05-20 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Frameless interior rearview mirror assembly
US8976439B2 (en) 2009-04-23 2015-03-10 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Mirror assembly for vehicle
US8508831B2 (en) 2009-04-23 2013-08-13 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Mirror assembly for vehicle
US8922867B2 (en) 2009-04-23 2014-12-30 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Frameless interior rearview mirror assembly
US9637055B2 (en) 2009-04-23 2017-05-02 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Frameless interior rearview mirror assembly
US8258705B2 (en) 2009-04-29 2012-09-04 Hubbell Incorporated Scotopically enhanced emergency light and control thereof
US20100277070A1 (en) * 2009-04-29 2010-11-04 Hubbell Incorporated Scotopically enhanced emergency light and control thereof
US9346403B2 (en) 2009-10-07 2016-05-24 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Rearview mirror assembly
US8396625B2 (en) 2009-12-04 2013-03-12 Lear Corporation Active image generation and selective remote actuation of head restraint
US20110137529A1 (en) * 2009-12-04 2011-06-09 Lear Corporation Active Image Generation and Selective Remote Actuation of Head Restraint
US9969334B2 (en) 2010-02-10 2018-05-15 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Exterior rearview mirror assembly
US9827913B2 (en) 2010-02-10 2017-11-28 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Exterior rearview mirror assembly
US8283800B2 (en) 2010-05-27 2012-10-09 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Vehicle control system with proximity switch and method thereof
US9701248B2 (en) 2010-07-08 2017-07-11 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly for a vehicle
US9056584B2 (en) 2010-07-08 2015-06-16 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly for a vehicle
US20120043888A1 (en) * 2010-08-18 2012-02-23 Salter Stuart C Vehicle Interior Light Configured to Color Correct and Method Thereof
US20120049870A1 (en) * 2010-08-25 2012-03-01 Salter Stuart C Proximity Sensor with Enhanced Activation
US8575949B2 (en) * 2010-08-25 2013-11-05 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity sensor with enhanced activation
US8454181B2 (en) 2010-08-25 2013-06-04 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Light bar proximity switch
US8830696B2 (en) * 2010-09-01 2014-09-09 Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. Image display apparatus
US20120051022A1 (en) * 2010-09-01 2012-03-01 Sanyo Technology Center (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. Image display apparatus
US9841173B2 (en) * 2010-09-17 2017-12-12 Gentex Corporation Interior rearview mirror assembly with integrated indicator symbol
US20140146551A1 (en) * 2010-09-17 2014-05-29 Douglas C. Campbell Interior rearview mirror assembly with integrated indicator symbol
US8827517B2 (en) * 2010-10-12 2014-09-09 Gentex Corporation Clear bezel
US20120268961A1 (en) * 2010-10-12 2012-10-25 Cammenga David J Clear bezel
US9676334B2 (en) 2010-10-12 2017-06-13 Gentex Corporation Clear bezel
US8975903B2 (en) 2011-06-09 2015-03-10 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch having learned sensitivity and method therefor
US8928336B2 (en) 2011-06-09 2015-01-06 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch having sensitivity control and method therefor
US8885240B2 (en) 2011-08-04 2014-11-11 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly for a vehicle
US9667096B2 (en) 2011-08-29 2017-05-30 Hubbell Incorporated LED-based emergency lighting equipment and methodology
US9143126B2 (en) 2011-09-22 2015-09-22 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch having lockout control for controlling movable panel
US8994228B2 (en) 2011-11-03 2015-03-31 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch having wrong touch feedback
US8878438B2 (en) 2011-11-04 2014-11-04 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Lamp and proximity switch assembly and method
US9316347B2 (en) 2012-01-24 2016-04-19 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly with interchangeable rearward viewing device
US9184745B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2015-11-10 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and method of sensing user input based on signal rate of change
US9568527B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2017-02-14 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and activation method having virtual button mode
US9559688B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2017-01-31 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly having pliable surface and depression
US9197206B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2015-11-24 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch having differential contact surface
US8933708B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2015-01-13 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and activation method with exploration mode
US9531379B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2016-12-27 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly having groove between adjacent proximity sensors
US9520875B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2016-12-13 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Pliable proximity switch assembly and activation method
US9287864B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2016-03-15 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and calibration method therefor
US9944237B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2018-04-17 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly with signal drift rejection and method
US9219472B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2015-12-22 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and activation method using rate monitoring
US9660644B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2017-05-23 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and activation method
US9065447B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2015-06-23 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and method having adaptive time delay
US9831870B2 (en) 2012-04-11 2017-11-28 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly and method of tuning same
US9505349B2 (en) 2012-04-24 2016-11-29 Gentex Corporation Display mirror assembly
US9136840B2 (en) 2012-05-17 2015-09-15 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly having dynamic tuned threshold
US8981602B2 (en) 2012-05-29 2015-03-17 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly having non-switch contact and method
US9337832B2 (en) 2012-06-06 2016-05-10 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch and method of adjusting sensitivity therefor
US9641172B2 (en) 2012-06-27 2017-05-02 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly having varying size electrode fingers
US8864322B2 (en) 2012-08-24 2014-10-21 Gentex Corporation Shaped rearview mirror assembly
US9434312B2 (en) 2012-08-24 2016-09-06 Gentex Corporation Shaped rearview mirror assembly
US8922340B2 (en) 2012-09-11 2014-12-30 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch based door latch release
US9447613B2 (en) 2012-09-11 2016-09-20 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch based door latch release
US8796575B2 (en) 2012-10-31 2014-08-05 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly having ground layer
US9327648B2 (en) 2013-01-04 2016-05-03 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly with exposed carrier plate
US9488892B2 (en) 2013-01-09 2016-11-08 Gentex Corporation Printed appliqué and method thereof
US9311204B2 (en) 2013-03-13 2016-04-12 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity interface development system having replicator and method
US9676336B2 (en) 2013-06-25 2017-06-13 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Exterior rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US9487142B2 (en) 2013-06-25 2016-11-08 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US9575315B2 (en) 2013-09-24 2017-02-21 Gentex Corporation Display mirror assembly
CN105939874A (en) * 2013-09-30 2016-09-14 Dav公司 Light device for viewing control of function
US20150336506A1 (en) * 2014-05-23 2015-11-26 Hyundai Motor Company Method of controlling button symbol of inside mirror
US9663029B2 (en) * 2014-05-23 2017-05-30 Hyundai Motor Company Method of controlling button symbol of inside mirror
US9796334B2 (en) 2014-06-13 2017-10-24 Magna Mirrors Of America, Inc. Exterior rearview mirror assembly for vehicle
US9694751B2 (en) 2014-09-19 2017-07-04 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly
US9694752B2 (en) 2014-11-07 2017-07-04 Gentex Corporation Full display mirror actuator
USD783480S1 (en) 2014-12-05 2017-04-11 Gentex Corporation Rearview device
US9654103B2 (en) 2015-03-18 2017-05-16 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity switch assembly having haptic feedback and method
US9548733B2 (en) 2015-05-20 2017-01-17 Ford Global Technologies, Llc Proximity sensor assembly having interleaved electrode configuration
USD817238S1 (en) 2016-04-29 2018-05-08 Gentex Corporation Rearview device
USD809984S1 (en) 2016-12-07 2018-02-13 Gentex Corporation Rearview assembly

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
US20020024713A1 (en) 2002-02-28 application

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US7492281B2 (en) Vehicle exterior mirror assembly with blind spot indicator
US6198409B1 (en) Vehicle rearview mirror display system
US8237909B2 (en) Vehicular rearview mirror assembly including integrated backlighting for a liquid crystal display (LCD)
US8203440B2 (en) Vehicular vision system
US7881496B2 (en) Vision system for vehicle
US5303130A (en) Illuminating automobile sideview mirror
US5603104A (en) LCD system with integrated annunciator
US7855755B2 (en) Interior rearview mirror assembly with display
US7526103B2 (en) Imaging system for vehicle
US8058977B2 (en) Exterior mirror having a display that can be viewed by a host driver or drivers of other vehicles
US6648477B2 (en) Rearview mirror assembly with information display
US20090096937A1 (en) Vehicle Rearview Assembly Including a Display for Displaying Video Captured by a Camera and User Instructions
US5808778A (en) Electro-optic rearview mirror for automotive vehicles
US20120081915A1 (en) Vehicle exterior mirror system with light module
US20140022390A1 (en) Interior rearview mirror assembly
US6667762B1 (en) Miniature inspection system
US20100201816A1 (en) Multi-display mirror system and method for expanded view around a vehicle
US8333492B2 (en) Illumination module for a vehicle
US7944371B2 (en) Exterior mirror with indicator
US20100200752A1 (en) Image sensor capable of judging proximity to subject
US8339526B2 (en) Vehicle rearview mirror assembly including a high intensity display
US6630888B2 (en) Rearview mirror assembly with integral display element and camera
US20020118282A1 (en) On-vehicle video camera
US6598982B2 (en) Rearview mirror alignment device
US20010019482A1 (en) Infrared-ray radiating lamp for automobile

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: GENTEX CORPORATION, MICHIGAN

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ROBERTS, JOHN K.;FOGG, JEREMY A.;BAUER, FREDERICK T.;REEL/FRAME:012268/0146;SIGNING DATES FROM 20010928 TO 20011002

FPAY Fee payment

Year of fee payment: 4

FPAY Fee payment

Year of fee payment: 8

FPAY Fee payment

Year of fee payment: 12